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Labour figures show fall in number of GP surgeries offering extended hours

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e5188 (Published 30 July 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5188
  1. Matthew Limb
  1. 1London

Labour’s shadow health secretary, Andy Burnham, has come under fire after blaming the coalition government’s policies for a fall in the number of general practices in England that offer extended opening hours.

Laurence Buckman, who chairs the BMA General Practitioners Committee, accused Burnham of “hiding behind a fig leaf,” saying that the policy of extending weekend and evening hours, which the previous Labour government had “imposed” on the profession, had never worked.

He told the BMJ, “People who were seen in extended hours weren’t the ones it was intended for.”

The Labour party released a survey of GPs’ opening hours in England, published on 26 July, using figures from 91 of England’s 151 primary care trusts.

It found that 56% of the primary care trusts reported …

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